Tag Archives: The Squawks

Spread a Little Happiness

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Hooray For Hat!
Brian Won
Andersen Press pbk
If, like Elephant, you ever wake up feeling grumpy then this is definitely the book for you. When said pachyderm awakes in a very bad mood he discovers a parcel on his doorstep. Perfect timing; its contents have an immediate mood lifting effect. “HOORAY FOR HAT!” he cheers and off he goes to show Zebra, but Zebra too has the grumps,

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until that is Elephant gives him a hat. Guess what they say …
There are several other grumpy animals that day and there follows a kind of cheer-spreading domino effect. Before long Turtle, Owl, Lion all have hats but why is Lion still looking glum? Giraffe is poorly, he explains. “What can we do?” Young audiences will supply the answer forthwith …
Great art work: I love Won’s slightly whimsical style. He has used contrasting light and dark to effect with animals emerging from dark backgrounds (Turtle his shell, Owl his tree trunk and Lion his cave) into brightness as they join the ‘hat-fest’. And how well Elephant chooses each time – a party hat for Zebra, a wacky broad-brimmed panama for Turtle, a mortarboard for Owl,

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a crown for Lion.
Great message – no matter how you feel – embrace the day and with simple acts of kindness you can spread goodwill and cheer.
Great ending –

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Moreover, with its patterned language, predictability and bold clear print, learner readers will soon be able to take over and read the whole thing for themselves and I’m sure they will, over and over with great delight.

Great debut; I look forward eagerly to the next book.

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Apes-A-Go-Go!
Roman Milisic and A.Richard Allen
Harper Collins Children’s Books pbk
The pristine town wherein this story is set is hoping to win the ‘Tidiest Town Competition’ for the third year running. That is before the pernickety mayor notices an oversized flower in one of the beds, complains out loud and is overheard by Fussy Great Ape. His delicate touch fixes the flower but in so doing, he trashes the whole flowerbed.

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CUPPA COCOA! APES-a-GO-GO!” he calls and thus begins a concatenation of repair and destruction as ape after ape responds to the call: there’s Mucky Great Ape, Sopping Great Ape, Thumping Great Ape, Sweeping Great Ape. Then who should turn up but Baking Great Ape, experienced in disaster fixing and what better way to fix this particular disaster than with an enormous chocolate cake. Mmmm! Before long, the mayor and all the townsfolk are tucking in and having a great time. Meanwhile those apes are busy setting the town back to rights – well almost. But who is going to clear up after the party wonders the mayor – Smashing Great Ape perhaps?

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Completely crazy: as those apes pile disaster upon disaster, their capers cannot fail to lift your mood . I can guarantee that if you share this one with a class of infants the whole lot will soon be shouting that ape-summoning refrain with you and that call might well spread out into the playground and beyond.
Order with a slice of chocolate cake for complete satisfaction and feast your eyes on those ape-filled retro illustrations.

Find and buy from your local bookshop:

http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

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The Squawks
Ruth Thorp
Raw Mixture Publishing
Meet the Squawks – a troop of birds of many different shapes and sizes, mostly blue with an occasional red or yellow feathered one. These happy-go-lucky creatures get up to all manner of crazy antics such as telegraph wire teetering, dancing

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and keeping fit. Avoid them though in squally weather and when they engage in board games; that’s when their tempers become frayed.
With a limited colour palette and a plethora of tongue tingling words, Ruth Thorp has created a playful picture book that demonstrates to young listeners that words are fun – fun to hear, fun to mess about with, fun to write and fun to invent. I love the way the print twirls and swirls across some of the pages in harmony with the Squawks. Just the thing to help foster a love of language for its own sake.
Buy from http://www.thesquawks.co.uk/